- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
The heads of 13 EU embassies in Sofia have declared their support for the Roma Pride 2012 event to be held in cities throughout Bulgaria and Europe on October 7.
Roma Pride is an international initiative by the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement, EGAM, which encourages Roma people to organise activities to both celebrate their heritage and draw attention to the problems of the largest minority in Europe.
It was first held in Bulgaria in 2011, involving a series of cultural events and traditional crafts displays. This year it will be held in 15 cities across the country and in more than 20 countries across Europe, and will feature exhibitions of paintings and other artwork related to the Roma, political petitions, children’s concerts , and demonstrations. Roma Film Week, held throughout Europe, will coincide with the event.
The declaration of support for Roma Pride was signed by the ambassadors of Belgium, Romania, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, and the chargé d’affaires of Lithuania.
“We support the objectives of the event, namely the celebration of cultural diversity, promotion, according to the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, of the values of tolerance and equality, the fight against racism and against xenophobic and discriminatory behaviour, and finally, to help citizens to better their mutual acquaintance.
“We hope that the public and local leaders will take part in the many activities initiated by civil society organisations in the cities participating in the event,” the diplomats said.
In June this year an international meeting of EGAM was held in Sofia, where more than 20 organisations from across the Balkans and the EU worked to prepare Roma Pride 2012 and presented their efforts to combat racism and discrimination.
Bulgaria was represented at the meeting by the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and the Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance – Amalipe, Veliko Turnovo.
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